Here’s how to startup. Even when the world goes topsy-turvy.

From one home office to another, Zendesk leaders chat with founders, CEOs, and makers on their startup journey. There’s rule-flipping, new dogma, and recycling failure into growth.

Plus, why customer experience is at the heart of success, as told by people who know unpredictability inside out. (That seems pretty helpful right now.)

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Calling curious minds

Listen in for advice on making success out of customer-focused thinking and a good spattering of risk.


Episode 1: Aura’s James Gutierrez on empathy as secret sauce

Aura Founder and CEO, James Gutierrez, sits down with Zendesk CFO, Elena Gomez, to share Aura’s mission to provide affordable, credit-building loans to working families in America. While pretending to sip cortados in a coffee shop, they chat:
• James’s personal journey building Aura, and his motivation to open doors for low-income families
• Adapting to COVID-19 by arming customers with “moral collateral”, making customer experiences more digital, and offering “pay what you can” options
• Leading with compassion, and how empathy drives Aura’s startup culture—and success

Listen Episode 1 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 2: Startup Grind’s Derek Andersen on virtual C2C strategy

Derek Andersen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Startup Grind, a global community for educating and connecting entrepreneurs. He chats with Marcio Arnecke, Zendesk’s VP of Regional Marketing AMER, on the value of investing in community, especially in a post-COVID world.
• Building community for altruistic good and pipeline generation
• Learning to thrive in our new normal, through the power of end-to end virtual communities
• Startup Grind’s successful pivot online, and “no limits” when it comes to digital messaging

Listen Episode 2 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 3: Tymeshift’s Elisa Reggiardo on the value of support leaders

Tymeshift’s Chief Brand Officer, Elisa Reggiardo, sits down with Zendesk’s Senior Director of Content and Event Marketing, Sarah Reed. While continents apart, the pair catch up on:
• Why support gets deprioritized by founders, and the power of support leaders driving efficient and engaged teams
• The unique startup challenge: balancing team culture with growth and change
• Making the most of workforce management solutions to build teams of all sizes

Listen Episode 3 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 4: Glofox’s Anthony Kelly on the rise of the Chief Customer Officer

Anthony Kelly is the Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Glofox, an intuitive gym management software solution, which enables entrepreneurs to grow their own fitness business. From his home office in Dublin, Anthony chats with Zendesk’s Chief Marketing Officer (and fitness lover), Jeff Titterton. They discuss delivering experiences in a shifting world, including:
• Anthony’s tried-and-tested motto: “When the customer wins, we all win”
• Why the virtual fitness format is here to stay
• How Glofox is evolving their customer base from boutique to enterprise gyms

Listen Episode 4 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 5: Lemlist’s Guillaume Moubeche on CX as everyone’s job

Lemlist is an email outreach platform helping sales teams, agencies, and B2B businesses stand out in a crowded inbox. Speaking across the pond, France-based CEO and Co-Founder, Guillaume Moubeche, is in conversation with Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, Zendesk’s VP of Marketing, EMEA in London. Together, they chat:
• Prospecting techniques, and the “right time” to reach out—even during a pandemic
• The undervalued power of empathy in sales
• Aligning sales and support strategies

Listen Episode 5 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 6: Zenni Optical’s Bai Gan on how customers influence product

Zenni Optical’s Chief Product Officer, Bai Gan, sits down with Kristen Durham of Zendesk—from their remote home offices in California. The pair chat about Zenni Optical’s growth journey, from the days of building a bootstrap startup to navigating the tides of 2020. In this episode, find out:
• How to listen to your customers in order to predict trends
• The importance of investing in a direct to consumer strategy
• Lessons on building a business during the dot com crisis

Listen Episode 6 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 7: CodeSignal’s Sophia Baik on hiring with less bias

CodeSignal is the first company to build an objective skills-based platform for recruiters and employers. In this episode, Co-Founder, Sophia Baik, chats with Ryan Nichols of Zendesk, about avoiding biases, and pivoting business strategy based on customer feedback. Listen in to learn:
• How to hire an effective remote team
• Why bias in the hiring process can damage startup culture
• The value of listening to customer feedback

Listen Episode 7 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 8: Mindler’s Magnus Pettersson on scaling a fast-growth startup

Mindler believes that everyone should have access to mental health services. In this episode, Mindler COO, Magnus Pettersson sits down with Zendesk’s Warren Levitan at a time when distress is on the rise. They chat about the importance of the first interaction with customers, and defining best in class CX in the world of startups and mental health. Listen to learn:
• The journey towards making mental health accessible remotely
• Valuable lessons on scaling a growing startup
• The role of empathy in strengthening customer trust

Listen Episode 8 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Episode 9: Lessonly’s Max Yoder on doing better work

Lessonly is powerfully simple software that helps teams learn. Co-Founder and CEO Max Yoder chats with Zendesk’s Tiffany Apczynski on all things empathy. They explore how education can be used to build the new generation of leaders that the world needs. Tune in to hear the pair talk:
• Tying ROI and behavioral change to software
• How to boost confidence and competence with communication
• Living whatever you’re asking your team to do
• Letting go of perfectionism and tapping into play

Listen Episode 9 via Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Look who’s talkin’

James Gutierrez
CEO and Co-Founder
Derek Andersen
CEO and Co-Founder
Bevy and Startup Grind
Elisa Reggiardo
Chief Brand Officer
Guillaume Moubeche
CEO and Co-Founder
Bai Gan
Chief Product Officer
Zenni Optical
Magnus Pettersson
Chief Operating Officer
Sophia Baik
Anthony Kelly
Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer
Max Yoder
CEO & Co-Founder

We’ve got a thing for startups

Sit Down Startup is made by us, Zendesk. We were once a scrappy startup (and we’ve got the kitchen bench we were born on to prove it). Now, we help all kinds of startups, baby to big, build the best customer experiences. Support, sales, or something in between, let us lend a hand in providing a solution that’s mightiest for you.

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